Brad Estes announces candidacy for Rapid City mayor

Brad Estes

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RAPID CITY, S.D. — Brad Estes, former Ward 5 City Councilman, has announced his candidacy for Rapid City Mayor Thursday.

“Today, I am announcing my campaign to become the next Mayor of Rapid City, and I’m asking for your votes,” said Estes. “I am running for Mayor because I believe I can have a positive effect on the challenges that lie ahead for our city, and because it feels like my opportunity to continue serving this community that has given me so much.”

He served as Ward 5 Councilman from 2013-2015, was City Council president for two years and has more than 40 years of experience in the management of construction, hospitality and restaurant ventures.

He was also a board member of the Central States Fair Board/Black Hills Stock Show for 10 years, serving as President for four.

“I believe that Rapid City voters are hungry for a Mayor who has real, personal experience of building for economic development and creating jobs. Rapid City has so much exciting opportunity ahead, and I want to be a part of ensuring that we grow in a way that benefits both the business community, and the diverse families who grow up, work, and build their lives here.”

Estes recognizes a priority for the Mayor’s office in the coming years must include an increased focus on public safety saying, “No community will ever reach its full potential if the citizens don’t feel safe. I look forward to working with our law enforcement and the many fantastic community organizations that are working together to find solutions for public safety.”

Estes will also focus on other priorities for the community like a focus on strategic growth and development for economic opportunities such as the B-21 mission, work on housing availability for working families, and a renewed focus on infrastructure maintenance to preserve our neighborhoods among other things.

Photos from Brad Estes’s mayor announcement:

What Estes plans on doing

Estes covered a few items as his priorities and things he would work on as Mayor.

  • Public safety
  • Housing
  • Funding to renew neighborhood infrastructure

“We give law enforcement the tools that they need to meet the challenges that they’re experiencing, very unusual circumstances right now,” Estes said. “And they need the support and we can give it.” He said that what he’s campaigning on is his background. “Just coming from the private sector, being a local businessperson,” Estes said. “Knowing what it’s like to try to do business in Rapid City, create opportunities for families and employees, and just bring a perspective with someone who’s in business and puts money at risk to try to create development.” He also mentioned protecting our water during his announcement speech.

What sets Estes apart from other candidates

His experience is also what Estes says sets him apart from the other three candidates who currently have their name in the hat for Mayor.

“I know what it’s like when interest rates change: what that does and how that makes the developer feel,” Estes said. “I know what it’s like to go to City Hall and have a building permit rejected. I know what it’s like to personally guarantee a TIF [Tax Increment Financing] to try to help the community grow. I know firsthand nearly any type of a business relationship that a developer would have with the city. I know firsthand what that feels like. I bring real-life firsthand experience.”

Why Estes decided to run

“Well, I was on the council for four years and I had some business obligations I needed to finish,” Estes said. “This has been on my radar for 10, 15 years. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My opportunity’s now and it’s felt like I had some unfinished business. So here I am and we’re going full speed ahead.”

Estes will be running against Ward 1 Councilman Ron Weifenbach, Ward 3 Councilman Jason Salamun and Ward 5 Councilwoman Laura Armstrong.

Rapid City’s Municipal Election will be held on June 6, 2023.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections, South Dakota News